Young Soldier


They prepared him right enough,

taught him discipline

how to serve his country

and his God.


And he’d never felt more alive

more up for it and ready

for whatever came along:

unleash those dogs

his nerves were steady!


And all those world war poets

they went on about at school?

Well – it had been different then

for poor bastards like them.


When he served out in the Middle East

He’d felt a proper soldier

not some pathetic white-van-man,

mortgage on his shoulder.


But every now and then

when indelible grenades

bring him to the brink

he has to grip the bar

to shake himself another drink.

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